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22 hours

The daylight filter shade makes this picture rock!

Welcome to the 20th floor! This is a new floor for us. We have always been on the 16th floor through most of our stays. I would say it feels different but once in the hallway, they are the same!

We are in a room that is at the end of the hallway and so the main room is square, but the bathroom is large. We are so far enjoying the setup.

The Chemotherapy routine.

Getting started on the dosage takes a bit longer to get going than you would expect. After the required covid test and pre-meds, the actual dosage did not get started until 3 am.

22 hours.

That is the time the first dose of Cycle 6 will run. The drug is Methotrexate. This one must be flushed through the system by the time our hospital stay is over. It is one that can be super dangerous if it were allowed to reach toxic levels.

This means that fluids are being pumped through her body at the rate of 200-400 cc an hour. Every bathroom visit involves what they call a “hat”. You won’t want to wear it on your head. It is a plastic collector with markings for fluid it holds. Each trip requires that you note the amount, write it on the white board, and empty it for the next round. Technology is lagging where there should be noise canceling equipment that converts the sound of liquid against plastic into a soothing waterfall sound.

Too many details? LOL.

It also means that nights are interrupted by frequent trips to the luxury bathroom suite that rivals some of the best hotels and resorts around. One thing that the resorts have that the hospital does not is the whisper flush. Even in the deepest sleep on the guest couch, I know every trip that happens.

Today was a workday.

I have often said that when able to Michele will work. This last month has had many days that were too tough to do so. We were up and moving at 6:00 and she was calling carriers by 7:30 our time. Armed with her brand-new iPad (her old one was getting slower and slower), she began her day early.

Except for eating, and the routine mentioned above, she has talked to clients from the equivalent of a student desk.

The student desk setup

With her notepad, iPad, IV Tree in the background (Yellow bag is the chemo) this is how she is going about talking to clients. My oldest asked why she had a big headset on. I told him she was pretending to be a truck driver.

Moved to my bed impersonating a couch

The Green wonder of the couch has the seat the slides out about 1-2 feet to make it more of a bed. I must put bed sheets on it each night to make the bed. From the above angle you can see that we have a long way to go on the Chemo and the clear bag is “fluids” and this was her third bag of the day.

Sometimes Pictures cannot do justice for the work she does. I am always amazed at how calm and helpful she is with her clients in helping them get the best options for them at the stage of their life they are in. I want to also point out that as you look at the image/video you will see her personal blood pressure cuff attached to the bed, the little eye drops bottle on the desk that she has to do drops in her eyes 4 times a day, and something you may not notice is the basket on the IV cart where she will put her iPad and notes when we go for a walk.

Time in treatment

We always joked that my mom would go into the Hospital on Holidays to get us to see her. Covid made visits not possible. The other thing about holiday stays is that the staffing can be lighter. Fortunately, at MD Anderson that does not happen too often. The best news we got today was that if all the numbers go well, we could be home Monday night.

One less day is always good news here. So, we are going to be a good patient and caregiver this round and stick to that schedule.

People will hear…

So yesterday I talked about how she likes to order extras from the patient menu and that I prefer to get food at the cafe. You would be surprised to learn that in subliminal mind it tends to ignore negatives. I learned this the other day in my drivers ed class as well. If you are sliding around and telling yourself, don’t hit the tree… you are likely to hit the tree. I have had extra bites on the last few meals. Some lessons I am still learning.

I even mentioned to her today that I wrote about this in my blog. She swears she read it too! Oh well. Somethings about her don’t change and I love her dearly for it.

I will chime in again on Monday. Everyone have a great weekend!


2 thoughts on “22 hours

  1. Mike that little funny shaped container has been called a nun’s hat, when I’ve had to use one. The older you get it’s better to ask for one instead of the little container. Lol
    I am praying & thinking about you guys. I know it’s been tuff but look how far you’ve come. And what fun & trips you can look forward to. Did Michelle get the cookies and the card?
    Keep hanging in there. ❤️ Love ‘ miss y’all.


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